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The Song Goes On With Verdigris Ensemble


by Gila Espinoza 26 May 2020 9:22 AM

Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips for virtual art experiences.  Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to listen to Sam Brukhman, artistic director for Verdigris Ensemble, share his tips with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala. 

You can’t keep a good choral group down not even during a pandemic. Artistic Director Sam Brukhman and his choral group Verdigris Ensemble has come up with several options for viewers to experience arts online.

Longing for your local pub? Verdigris’ program “Drink & Sing” teaches drinking songs from around the world. This used to be done at bars and breweries, but for now, you can catch it online. So whether you like your “Whiskey in a Jar,” or “Red, Red Wine,” or a “Tear In Your Beer,” gather up your “Friends in Low Places” and “Raise Your Glass.”

“Dust Bowl,” photo by Dickie Hill.

Verdigris will also screen several of their past performances online. They are accompanied by Creative Conversations. Those are breakdowns of the performance by the creative team, giving a behind the scenes look at how the program was created. It is a fascinating look at how the ensemble, known for its innovation, goes beyond a choral performance to present a richer aesthetic experience. Their sold-out performance of  “Dust Bowl” is now available to view.

And since April, one of the main things Verdigris has been working on is #TheSongMustGoOn. Sam leads these Facebook Live arts talks with local and national artists and tackles the topic of how artists can survive during COVID-19 and how to come out stronger on the other side.

Why Collaboration is Actually Really Good For Communities

Why collaboration is actually really good for communities, especially during COVID-19. Featuring Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico' Alexandra Hernandez, Avant Chamber Ballet's Katie Puder, and AT&T Performing Arts Center's Bart McGeehon.

Posted by Verdigris Ensemble on Thursday, April 16, 2020

In one recent episode, Sam’s guests were Bart McGeehon with AT&T Performing Arts Center, choreographer Alexander Hernandez from Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, and Avant Chamber Ballet Artistic Director Katie Cooper. They discussed how art groups move forward and plan for the next season at a time when there is so much uncertainty. That is the question a lot of organizations are asking right now.

Sam says, at least for Verdigris Ensemble, instead of one concert with 16 performers on stage, maybe they have 16 shows with one performer. No one knows yet what the other side will look like but you know Verdigris Ensemble will be there showing others how to move forward.

Got a tip? Email Gila Espinoza at [email protected]. You can follow her on Twitter @espinoza_kera.

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